Category Archives: News



The Habit's 2012 Oscars Best Dressed

Posted by The E on February 27, 2012

The big winner at last night’s Academy Awards was The Artist, but our eyes were on the red carpet (and Angelina Jolie’s leg). Here’s our pick of top Oscar gowns:

Jessica Chastain. This bold black and gold strapless gown by Alexander McQueen was a perfect choice for her striking skin tone and red hair. Her castmate Octavia Spencer may have taken home the trophy, but Jessica took home best dressed.

Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen, Oscars 2012

Milla Jovovich. For her first ever Oscars appearance, the model-turned-actress was sleek and sexy in a white one shoulder look by Elie Saab. She was one of the first on the carpet and she set the bar high for a very fashionable evening.

Milla Jovovich in Elie Saab, Oscars 2012

Gwyneth Paltrow. Always the minimalist, we loved the clean white look she chose from Tom Ford, and the built in cape says “I’m here to have fun.” She was all business later, dropping the cape and baring her shoulders to present with Robert Downey Jr.

Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford at the 2012 Oscars

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Dorothea Tanning 1911-2012

Posted by The E on February 6, 2012

Dorothea Tanning, Ein Klein Nachtmusik, 1943

While many creative people pass away far too young, that’s not the case for Dorothea Tanning, known as “the last living Surrealist,” who has sadly passed away at the age of 101. Tanning’s work was another major inspiration for our Fall Winter 2012 line.

Born in Galesburg, IL, Tanning was working as a commercial illustrator in NY until she visited a surrealist show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1936 and decided to become a serious painter. Her career took off after she met another surrealist, Max Ernst, which led to her first solo show and a 30 year marriage. The two lived and worked together until his death in 1976, after which Tanning went on to become a sculptor and then a noted novelist and poet.

Some of Tanning’s works are on display at the LACMA “In Wonderland” exhibit, including “Birthday,” a self-portrait considered among her best pieces.

Dorothea Tanning, Birthday, 1942

Along with work by other surrealists, including Leonora Carrington, Tanning’s paintings also served as inspiration for Madonna’s Music Video “Bedtime story,” directed by Mark Romanek, who decided to use surrealist motifs after meeting with the Super Bowl singer in a hotel room where she had installed a surrealist work from her art collection.

See the 1:02 mark for reference to Tanning’s sunflower image from a 1943 piece called “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.”


Madonna – Bedtime Story by

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New York Holiday Window Displays 2011

Posted by The E on December 9, 2011

Bergdorf Goodman's Carnival of Animals "The Brass Menagerie"

Along with ice-skating, extravagant window displays are part of the holiday tradition in New York City, with millions of tourists and locals passing by the big department stores every year (turns out out it might actually be worthwhile – a new study suggests that the best displays do in fact attract shoppers). If you’ll be in New York for the holidays, here’s our rundown of the top window displays:

Barney’s is betting big on its Gaga’s Workshop concept, with a fantasy Lady Gaga Boudoir, Gaga’s Cave of Crystals, and an entranceway that feels like you are walking into a deck of cards.

Macy’s Herald Square has dedicated their windows to the Make-A-Wish foundation, merging the fantastic with the futuristic in a white and navy blue series of windows. On-lookers can also design ther own holiday ornament and take it home on their mobile phone.

Saks is accompanying its windows with a holiday light show projection inspired by the book “Who Makes the Snow,” and will feature dresses by designers Stella McCartney, Marchesa and Alexander McQueen.

Bloomingdale’s is revisting its own holiday shopping bags from seasons past as inspiration for this year’s designs.

But perhaps our favorite is Bergdorf Goodman’sCarnival of the Animals” theme. Windows include a brass metalwork menagerie, a sparkling undersea world of fish made with rhinestones and sequins, and a white upholstered Arctic scene called “Breaking the Ice”.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for H&M

Posted by The E on December 2, 2011

Trish Summerville alongside models from her Dragon Tattoo collection for H&M

Fresh off its sellout collaboration with Versace, H&M is showing its next high profile collab, this time with costume designer Trish Summerville. Haven’t heard of her? She’s the creative force behind the dark, sexy costumewear worn by Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The collection includes lots of separates – hoodies, ripped shirts, slim moto pants, boots, and leather jackets - and hits stores on December 14. Target better step up its collaboration game ASAP!

Directed by David Fincher, the Dragon Tattoo stars Daniel Craig and is based off the best selling trilogy of novels by Stieg Larsson. If the standard trailer is not enough for you, they’ve just released an eight minute extended cut on iTunes.

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Miami Art Week 2011

Posted by The E on November 28, 2011

Art Basel Miami

It’s the first week of December, and that means it’s time for Miami Art Week, several days of high profile exhibitions, special events, and art sales in South Beach.

At the center of Art Week each year is Art Basel Miami Beach, which is celebrating its 10th year. Art Basel started in Switzerland in 1970 before expanding to the U.S. and quickly establishing itself as the art event of the year. With over 260 galleries showing work by more than 2,000 artists, this is Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, but for the art set. The show is expecting 46,000 curators, private collectors, tourists, and celebs. Previous attendees have included everyone from Brad Pitt to Jay-Z and Beyonce.

If you can’t make the event, Art Basel has put out a mobile app where you can browse galleries and selected works on an interactive map.  You can also follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #artbasel or catch up on the Miami Herald’s Art Basel section.

As Art Basel has continued to increase its profile, so too has Miami itself as one of America’s premiere art cities. Now in addition to Art Basel, more than 15 additional specialty shows come to Miami each year to take part in Art Week. Our good friend Marco Zamora will be showing work in the Mallick Williams booth at Scope, a contemporary art showcase open from November 29th to December 4th.

Marco Zamora

Marco uses a pen and brush technique to create images of urban landscapes and the people who live in them, influenced by Los Angeles, skate culture, and people’s “awkard moments”. Marco has shown work all over the U.S. and also designed advertising for Vans.

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How High Are Your Heels?

Posted by The E on November 16, 2011

Christian Louboutin platform pumps and kitten heelsWe don’t usually pick up fashion news from IBM, and this was actually very hard to believe when we read it, but a new study from the business consulting company reports that the median heel height for women has gone WAY down in the span of just two years. Probably thanks to reality stars and their platform pumps, ladies were averaging a sky-high SEVEN inch heel in 2009, which has leveled out to just two inches now in 2011.

The measurement is based on an analysis of tens of thousands of posts from fashion bloggers, shoe insiders, and footwear social media influencers since 2008. More than just a changing trend, we think it reflects the shift in social conciousness, as women have gone in the direction of handmade, authentic and sensible choices, while still getting to feel sexy. We have to say, we welcome the kitten heel!

What’s the word, have you scaled down the height of your heels recently, or was Lady Gaga just throwing off the average?

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The Hunger Games Trailer

Posted by The E on November 15, 2011

As the Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and Twilight franchises have started to come to a close, Hollywood studios are looking for the next big series that can appeal to all audiences. Lionsgate is betting big on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling young adult trilogy The Hunger Games, about a post-apocalyptic America that pits teenagers from its twelve districts against one other in a gladiator-style death match. The official trailer for the first installment has just hit the web. Directed by Gary Ross, the film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and… is that Lenny Kravitz?

The movie opens in March 2012, but if you can’t wait, the books are a very quick and entertaining read, perfect for holiday travel.

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Happy Halloween from HABITUAL!

Posted by The E on October 28, 2011

Richard Chai Pumpkin

Nothing says Halloween like a good old fashioned Jack O’ Lantern, but these pumpkin carvings from designers like Richard Chai, Nicholas Kirkwood, and Steven Alan are anything but old-fashioned. See the full collection of “designer” pumpkins at Vogue.com. If that’s not enough inspiration for your own pumpkin project this weekend, see these “fashion pumpkins” from Refinery29, who asked their creative staffers to go head to head in a carving contest. Happy Halloween!

Nicholas Kirkwood and Steven Alan Pumpkins

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Wiseman, Fairey, and RETNA at the New West Hollywood Library

Posted by The E on October 20, 2011

Shepard Fairey's mural at the West Hollywood Library

The new West Hollywood Library is officially open to the public. In addition to the extensive, two story collection of resource materials and books, the library is a 48,000 square foot architectural showpiece, which the LA Times called “one of the most impressive public pieces in the region in a decade.” Referencing many of Southern California’s signature design influences, the building is complete with rooftop tennis courts, an enormous parking garage, and commissioned artworks by three artists.

We stopped by a small panel discussion with the artists on Tuesday, put on by the West Hollywood Arts Council and moderated by KCRW’s Frances Anderton. Listening to the trio of artists talk about their different styles, motivations, and processes, you can sum up each of the artists with a single word: David Wiseman, the academic, Shepard Fairey, the political, and RETNA, the emotional.

Wiseman, influenced by European Art Deco and his own fascination with horticulture, used a scale model and a powerpoint full of reference material to talk about the life-sized steel and plaster sycamore tree, which grows upward from the interior stairwell towards the skylight. Fairey, whose work covers the lobby of the theater at the ground level and the enormous back wall of the parking structure, used his trademark stencil, poster and paint techniques to illustrate his Peace Elephant and many of West Hollywood’s famous landmarks, including the Sunset Tower Hotel and the Emser tile building.

But perhaps the most fun part of the evening was a Q&A exchange between enigmatic street artist RETNA and an audience member about the meaning of his signature text-like graffiti piece, which faces Melrose from the South Wall. Viewing any RETNA work for the first time, one or two symbols evoke a feeling of familiarity, which quickly gives way to a confused dyslexia, as you realize you can’t in fact decode what is written. In the exchange, RETNA admitted he has created his own “font” (but not an entire language) by referencing the common shapes and characters from several alphabets, including Hebrew, Cyrillic, Latin and even Heiroglyphics. He also revealed that he included a quote from Salman Rushdie in the mural, but with a sly smile, wouldn’t disclose which one, how to decode it, or if the quote was in English, Spanish, or even Latin.

Be sure to look up the next time you are driving down Melrose.

RETNA's Mural at the West Hollywood Library

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Denimu

Posted by The E on October 14, 2011

Snuff Guys by Denimu, 2009

Crafting a bolt of denim into a great fitting, comfortable, fashion forward pair of jeans is a form of art in itself, but London-born artist Denimu makes denim into art in a whole different way.  Initially attracted to the textures and wear patterns of denim, 27 year-old Denimu quickly discovered that working with denim was a way to breath life into garments that had passed their prime, but still carried a lot of personal meaning for people. By cutting and layering denim into different shapes and patterns, Denimu creates beautiful portraits, urbanscapes, pop art, and pretty much anything else that can be interpreted in denim. This is the type of life passion that can only come from a true denimhead. In his own words:

“I became fascinated by the rich heritage of Denim.  A story that has run alongside that of modern history. A material that abounds in dualities and meanings. A symbol of both egalitarianism and of materialism. A reflection of the world in which we live.”

We’re just hoping he is aware of the colored denim trend – that could open a whole new realm of possibilities, and we can’t wait to see the results.

Retreat by Denimu

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